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Recent Marina Reviews-Disappointing?


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1 hour ago, Wishing on a star said:

However, I have never said anyone was not free to recount their experience.

That is what these boards are for.

Not sure where you are getting that?

I don't understand what the thing is here?

True - you never said that others are not free to recount their experience but you implied that all your negative comments will be criticized.

All I said is that they are free to criticize you just as you are free to state your experiences. Some may criticize you because they are cheerleaders (wrong reason) and others because their experience was different from yours (right reason).

 

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14 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

True - you never said that others are not free to recount their experience but you implied that all your negative comments will be criticized.

All I said is that they are free to criticize you just as you are free to state your experiences. Some may criticize you because they are cheerleaders (wrong reason) and others because their experience was different from yours (right reason).

 

Whereas I agree full heartedly with Paul’s comments here, they do fully expose one major flaw within Oceania. That being the huge variations, between ships and between crews, of the levels of service and food quality. It has become a very inconsistent product. Even what should be areas of easy standardization, such as enforcement of stated dress codes, varies greatly.

 

Therefore, when someone reports their experiences aboard ship, in any one of numerous areas, those rushing in to report different experiences often seem to be attacking the messenger! Of course you had different experiences, where is Oceania consistent today? People, particularly the cheerleaders, need to back off a bit and take into account the vastness of differences people experience aboard. Then they can write their own reviews of their cruise.

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4 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Whereas I agree full heartedly with Paul’s comments here, they do fully expose one major flaw within Oceania. That being the huge variations, between ships and between crews, of the levels of service and food quality. It has become a very inconsistent product. Even what should be areas of easy standardization, such as enforcement of stated dress codes, varies greatly.

I think this is more true today than in the past - it used to be much more of a uniform experience on all ships.

What made the difference I can only speculate but have no facts to back them up.

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16 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

I think this is more true today than in the past - it used to be much more of a uniform experience on all ships.

What made the difference I can only speculate but have no facts to back them up.

Very true, only speculation. However, what isn’t deniable is that a large part of the beginning of this Change, thus issues, date to the appointment of the current line President coming forward.

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We were on the Marina transatlantic cruise in  November . Booked a 35 day Sydney to Sydney for next December. We love Oceania. Are there things that could be better? Sure. But it still beats any other line we've been on.

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We were on Regal Princess in June 2018 and on Riviera in September 2018. We absolutely loved both, but Oceania is in a different league. The only thing that was better on Princess was entertainment.

 

That said, out of 15 cruises we did, never ever we felt that we want the cruise to end. Never ever did we feel that we want to go back to another line. For us, there is no such thing as a bad cruise. You just need to know what to expect from each line, but we will happily sail on Crystal, Oceania, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess and Holland. 

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2 hours ago, ak1004 said:

We were on Regal Princess in June 2018 and on Riviera in September 2018. We absolutely loved both, but Oceania is in a different league. The only thing that was better on Princess was entertainment.

 

That said, out of 15 cruises we did, never ever we felt that we want the cruise to end. Never ever did we feel that we want to go back to another line. For us, there is no such thing as a bad cruise. You just need to know what to expect from each line, but we will happily sail on Crystal, Oceania, Azamara, Celebrity, Princess and Holland. 

Ak1004;

 

Absolutely correct. I find the sanctimonious and self edifying posts about how Oceania cruisers are more sophisticated and well traveled to be ridiculous. Many of O’s cruisers sail on HAL, Viking, AZ, Princess, etc, and they don’t suddenly become more sophisticated the second they step aboard an O ship! 😂😂! They remain the same across brands! The cheerleaders remind me of a Professor at my stepdaughter’s undergrad. Everyone in his class got an A. He said all his students were brilliant because they knew to sign up for

his class. Students with gpa problems signed up to get the easy A! Read all the multiple posts about issues with O cruisers and it makes one want to 🤮🤮 when they read the garbage about the immediate transformation some believe happens when cruisers step aboard Oceania! Cheerleaders will cheer!

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12 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Ak1004;

 

Absolutely correct. I find the sanctimonious and self edifying posts about how Oceania cruisers are more sophisticated and well traveled to be ridiculous. Many of O’s cruisers sail on HAL, Viking, AZ, Princess, etc, and they don’t suddenly become more sophisticated the second they step aboard an O ship! 😂😂! They remain the same across brands! The cheerleaders remind me of a Professor at my stepdaughter’s undergrad. Everyone in his class got an A. He said all his students were brilliant because they knew to sign up for

his class. Students with gpa problems signed up to get the easy A! Read all the multiple posts about issues with O cruisers and it makes one want to 🤮🤮 when they read the garbage about the immediate transformation some believe happens when cruisers step aboard Oceania! Cheerleaders will cheer!

 

I didn't see any big difference about Oceania or Crystal cruisers, compared to lines like Celebrity or Princess (which might not be true when you compare to lines like Carnival). That said, we still prefer smaller ships mostly due to no crowds, no lines, better service etc. 

 

Some thing are obviously subjective (like food), but when you read about "stretched and stressed waitstaff and room stewards" on Oceania, you really have to take it with a grain of salt. Oceania has 1.5:1 crew/passenger ratio, while Princess has 2.5:1. So I would be very skeptical about such comments.

 

Sometimes people go on a new line after getting used to "their" line, and just set themselves to a failure. Oceania or Crystal might not be perfect, but I just cannot imagine how someone can not enjoy sailing on one of those lines.

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On 1/27/2020 at 11:07 AM, Mrs f. said:

We were on the Marina transatlantic cruise in  November . Booked a 35 day Sydney to Sydney for next December. We love Oceania. Are there things that could be better? Sure. But it still beats any other line we've been on.

Everything  is relative to YOU...   and   Everyone sees things through different eyes.   Thats just reality  not a criticism  just a fact of life.     One might ponder the concept of consistency..  Is it really all then inconsistent  or is the lack of consistency in the take of differing passengers  ?        Thus  every opinion is based of a wide variable of things.      One concept  I  think of, is that in todays information overload  age, people tend to over hype themselves and create exponential expectations.    Maybe, like the old days, just go on a cruise and discover  things  without having reams of others reference material to refer to.   

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On 1/27/2020 at 8:30 PM, ak1004 said:

never ever we felt that we want the cruise to end. For us, there is no such thing as a bad cruise.

There definitely was for us. The Riviera TA with Noro from Madeira on to Miami. Never had I been so happy to get off a cruise and not got the bug. 
 

My one Princess Cruise runs a close second, and I’ve been on Carnival & Costa. 

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1 minute ago, ORV said:

There definitely was for us. The Riviera TA with Noro from Madeira on to Miami. Never had I been so happy to get off a cruise and not got the bug.

Totally understandable but in all fairness this was due to the Noro rather than poor food, service, etc on the ship .

Perhaps the crew & management didn’t handle the Noro well but that too is a different question than a poor cruise per se without Noro.

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30 minutes ago, ORV said:

There definitely was for us. The Riviera TA with Noro from Madeira on to Miami. Never had I been so happy to get off a cruise and not got the bug. 
 

My one Princess Cruise runs a close second, and I’ve been on Carnival & Costa. 

 

I wasn't talking about cases when you or your family members are sick or there is a epidemic. This can happen on any cruise ship and any vacation in general. Even the most luxurious one.

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When Noro broke out on Marina after we left Lima in May 2015 we weren't as happy as we generally were with previous trips on Oceania.  The staff had a difficult problem to deal with and worked tirelessly.  I was always more inclined to blame passengers who didn't follow basic sanitation suggestions than I was the ship.

 

While we haven't sailed recently -- Marina in November 2017 and Riviera in May 2018 -- I tend to discount negative reviews until I am again on the ship.  I wasn't happy with restaurant menu changes (as I posted at CC) but I also wasn't miserable.  We never had tasteless bland food ... and we are fans of high spice, so we didn't have a problem there either.

 

We aren't cheerleaders, I promise you.  While we've loved O for years, we know it isn't perfect.  Nothing ever is.  But we enjoyed our last cruises.  I'm willing to trust that I'd enjoy another one ... if only I could get DH to be willing to continue traveling ...

 

I know Oceania monitors these posts even if we don't see answers like we frequently used to see from FDR here.  I hope they will take a lesson from seeing the unhappiness expressed by a fair number of long-time cruisers on Oceania. 

 

When I commented here while onboard Marina about the GDR being closed on port days in November 2017 -- something we'd never encountered before -- I immediately had a phone call from the Concierge asking for me to come and discuss the issue with them.  When I did so, they certainly did NOT bully me.  I was pleased with the conversation, even if it didn't lead to immediate menu changes "back to the past"!  And if appears from posts by more recent travelers, it has NOT returned to the past.

 

Mura

 

 

 

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On 1/26/2020 at 11:35 PM, Paulchili said:

YoHoHo - good to see you back on these boards

Thanks, nice to be back and see your steady hand and sage advice. Hmmm.... by "sage advice" I mean as in wise and from experience not that you are old or well seasoned 🙂

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This will be are 29th cruise on Oceania starting in February, and we have  3 more cruises booked on Oceania  in May/June.. 

 

As we engage in cruise conversations back  home  with various friends we hear several major themes:

 

1. They have loyalty with their current cruise lines and they  are given perks, therefore they like their current cruise line. They value their loyalty perks. Oceania keep your loyalty program going.  It has kept us sailing for over 300 days with you now!  It worked!  

 

2. Why do they like their current cruise line:  it is what they know and they have good lecturers, interesting and low or no cost excursions,  wine or beer included with meals. Please take note Oceania, this is why they like Viking and Azamara and it is hard to argue with them.

 

3. When I try to tell them about why I like Oceania, I say it is because of the comfortable beds, and the food.  That is what we spend the most time experiencing.  Lately, less people have responded with the bed issue. I wonder how comfortable they sleep.  I suspect other cruise lines have improved their bed comfort just as many hotel chains have.  Most people have upgraded mattresses at home if they can afford them and travel accordingly, avoiding certain hotel chains or lower end cruise lines.  Comfortable beds are deal breakers for us. Keep up the great Oceania beds!

 

4. As far as food, it is quite subjective.  We are a couple who looks for 4.5 to 5* food venues, and are gourmet aspiring cooks ourselves.  We are definitely "foodies" and Oceania meets our needs.  High quality food, international cuisine, and a wide variety of choices.  Riviera and Marina especially, have a great choice of food and have 4 high quality specialty restaurants along with the variety at the Terrace..  Oceania's smaller ships also have great cuisine.

 

Sail on friends and enjoy your life, whatever destination and venue you choose!

 

 

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3 hours ago, YoHoHo said:

Thanks, nice to be back and see your steady hand and sage advice. Hmmm.... by "sage advice" I mean as in wise and from experience not that you are old or well seasoned 🙂

Not sure about being wise but pretty sure about being old 😀

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On 1/27/2020 at 8:29 AM, Wishing on a star said:

Please do not compare any other cruise to 'Princess' based on one sailing on the Coral.

I have done Alaska on the Coral Princess.

It is the older and smaller of the Princess ships, and you simply will not get the best of Princess on this ship.  Especially on a low-key Alaskan Cruise.

 

Now, if 'O' cruisers want low-key....  the Coral will fit that bill!!!!

And, 'O' simply can not offer the Princess itineraries in Alaska. 

When we were on Coral, the activities, entertainment, etc...  were what might be called sub-par.

The Buffet...  it was awful...  However, this was some time ago, before the Princess Dining cutbacks and changes.   So, our experience and food in the MDR were excellent!!!   The best ever.

 

Most recently I sailed on Regal Princess.  

Now, THAT is my ship...  Love the whole Piazza concept, the International Cafe (specialty coffee and goodies/snacks/lunch), love the top notch entertainment...  Love the big beautiful ship...  understated elegance, marble, etc...  and LOVE the Princess Sanctuary!!!   

(Note; there is a recent review here on CC where a Princess cruiser just returned from Celebrity, and wasn't sure.  But by the end of the. review, as she was mentioning some of the things that I have, she says, paraphrase...  "Darn, the more I type, the more I miss about Princess".

 

When I sailed on the Regal, back with the brand new dining changes and menu cutbacks,  and perhaps some poor staff in charge of the kitchen,  it was just bad....  This has improved as they have sorted things out.  But the menus and offerings are now so lame and so limited.  No crab legs - at all,  no lobster.  (except for one small tail over a bland green risotto 'mush'... offered on formal night.   Even in the specialty steakhouse, the lobster tail is one small frozen, overcooked, lobster tail with lack of taste or texture.   And, you pay EXTRA for that????

 

I think all lines have the great, and the not-so-good,  Even one like Oceania that likes to purport to be a-step-above.

 

This is the kind of specific and comparative information that is helpful.

 

I have yet to cruise Oceania.   But I think I have done enough objective and thoughtful research to come up with a fairly reasonable expectation.    But when I look at the small and not so 'GRAND' ships, and the facilities and offerings compared to a totally different experience, such as the Regal Princess.  And, especially when I read comments about 'bland unseasoned food',  "cold lukewarm food",  "nothing but cold coffee",  stretched and stressed waitstaff and room stewards...  those are specific things that do stand out.  (and what you might see on Princess)  And, I do believe that some of these comments are credible.  And, it is very very disappointing.  To me, I think that any basis for those kinds of specific comments at all is just not really okay.

 

I know that people who love and are accustomed to one cruise line will def. have a rose colored review.  Even if they are not 'cheerleaders'.  And, the cheerleaders are def. there.   There is a recent review where one mentions few children and no issues, but then ends up posting about young children running around annoying everyone in a specialty restaurant.   There is a hesitation for these cruisers to see or post any negative.  Even when it is there.

 

A new cruiser to any line will always be making comparison and will always start out seeing the negatives.  

 

The bottom line is, for me,  I am no longer expecting the stellar experience, and not quite the level of food, that I thought I might see on Oceania.   But, they have the itinerary that works!   And, this will be about seeing Europe, not enjoying everything that can be enjoyed on a ship like the Regal Princess offers that I have loved.

 

PS:  the new Princess ships have totally ruined the Retreat Adult Pool at the Sanctuary, and the Sanctuary has been re-designed into a minimalistic  and sterile area.... The photos do not look nearly as inviting as the prev. Sanctuaries.  Among other changes as well.

All cruise lines change.  And not always for the best.

 

 

 

I think you may be mentioning my review. To clarify, the cruise we were on was a "Grand Voyage". The first segment of the Grand Voyage had the mob of children running wild. Those children and their family did not continue on the second segment. The few children on the second segment were well behaved.

 

I'm miles away from being a cheerleader but I prefer to look for the positives and try to ignore the negatives. There was no way to ignore the unruly children unless we stayed in our cabin. Some of the negative comments and bad ratings are silly, like the one where someone complained that his steak cooked well done was chewy.  :classic_laugh:

Edited by Rob the Cruiser
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Hello, I’ve read all the comments here as we have booked a 14 day cruise on Oceania Marina for October 2021.

We have sailed previously on Carnival (never again) RCC, Princess, Celebrity and Crystal.

We booked because we wanted to sail on a slightly smaller ship with great service and food. Water slides, rock walls and tons of kids are not for us. That being said although we enjoyed Crystal we found the age group a little older than we wanted.

Our last Princess was very disappointing in the dining room. Only the ‘pay to eat’ restaurants were good. 

Since booking we have become concerned about all the negative comments we’ve being hearing about terrible food quality and uncaring staff and over priced drinks.
Tired furniture and stained carpets also seem to be mentioned frequently.

If some one who has sailed in the last few months wouldn’t mind giving  their unbiased evaluation I’d love to hear it.  
$20,000.00 is a lot to spend on a vacation if the line really is suffering under new ownership. Thanks
 

 

Edited by rainyday458
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30 minutes ago, rainyday458 said:

Since booking we have become concerned about all the negative comments we’ve being hearing about terrible food quality and uncaring staff and over priced drinks.

Tired furniture and stained carpets also seem to be mentioned frequently.

If some one who has sailed in the last few months wouldn’t mind giving  their unbiased evaluation I’d love to hear it.  
$20,000.00 is a lot to spend on a vacation if the line really is suffering under new ownership. Thanks
 

 

not sure what new ownership you are referring to  but your cruise is over  a yr away & Marina will be getting a fluff up soon

Things  can change  in the next 18 mths though

JMO

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

not sure what new ownership you are referring to  but your cruise is over  a yr away & Marina will be getting a fluff up soon

Things  can change  in the next 18 mths though

JMO

And we were on her in December and really liked or loved everything.

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As I have said before, I read reviews -- whether positive or negative -- very carefully.  Anything 100% in one direction, whichever it is, I ignore.  I will take reviews into account but I don't accept them totally.  Anymore than anyone should accept that *I* post totally.

 

There are no "new" owners for Oceania, so I don't know what that meant ...

 

We have been on Marina and Riviera relatively recently (although not since May 2018 for Riviera) and did not find it wanting in terms of desperately needing an upgrade.  Then again, our coop apartment in NYC hasn't been "upgraded" in quite a while.  So feel free to ignore my opinion!  I am probably more tolerant than others are ...

 

When we bought our apartment many years ago I loved our cherry kitchen cabinets.  Now, when I watch the home renovation shows, white is in, dark is out.  But very recently I saw an online article that said white kitchens are on the way out ... Since I never worry about what is "dated", I don't worry overmuch about these things!  If I like it, it's in.  If I dislike it, it's out.

 

Mura

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